1) In 2006 the Republicans will lose no more than 3-4 Senate seats and 6-9 House seats, thereby retaining control of both chambers–just barely. This will further empower the moderates, like Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Olympia Snowe of Maine.
2) The Democrats will go berserk when their hopes of regaining control are crushed. Much internal bloodletting will take place within the party. The party will be weakened, and maybe even more the captive of it’s hard Left by 2008.
Polimom’s crystal ball has, unfortunately, been misplaced; I have no clue whether these “bold predictions” are correct, or even close… but my stomach went queasy when I read them, and a series of articles in the Washington Monthly — written by conservatives — helps explain why.
One of the strongest, unsurprisingly, was authored by Christopher Buckley, son of William F., and former speech writer for George H W Bush. It’s excellent, and I hesitate to do more than call out the smallest bit:
What have they done to my party? Where does one go to get it back?One place comes to mind: the back benches. It’s time for a time-out. Time to hand over this sorry enchilada to Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden and Charlie Rangel and Harry Reid, who has the gift of being able to induce sleep in 30 seconds. Or, with any luck, to Mark Warner or, what the heck, Al Gore. I’m not much into polar bears, but this heat wave has me thinking the man might be on to something.
Read it all. In fact, no matter your party affiliation (or lack thereof), read all seven:
Let’s quit while we’re behind
By Christopher Buckley
Bring on Pelosi
By Bruce Bartlett
And we thought Clinton had no self-control
By Joe Scarborough
Give divided government a chance
By William A. Niskanen
Restrain this White House
By Bruce Fein
Idéologie has taken over
By Jeffrey Hart
The show must not go on
By Richard A. Viguerie
As it happens, I’m as concerned as the next rational person about a House on a witch-hunt. In the face of the chaos in the Middle East, a bunch of avenging angels would be unhelpful in the short term… but to continue in the current direction could destroy us in the long. I also think those risks are exaggerated.
Unlike the Master’s prediction that the radical left will capture the Democratic party if they lose, Bruce Bartlett’s article suggests the Dems will self-destruct if they win. Frankly, I hope they’re both wrong, but I’m most disinclined to agree with Bartlett; I think that the most stabilizing thing that could happen is a Democratic majority in at least the House.
Whether one is motivated by a return to conservative principles, Democratic party affiliation and philosophic alignment, or desire for the originally-intended balance, we really can’t afford to continue on the current path.